Of Frog Wines and Frowning Watches: Semantic Priming, Perceptual Fluency, and Brand Evaluation

Three experiments show that semantic primes can enhance perceptual fluency, resulting in higher liking of the perceived product. Specifically, semantic primes that cue the visual identifier of one of two products (e.g., a bottle of wine with a frog shown on the label) increase preference of the prime-compatible target over another target (e.g., a wine without a frog on the label). This is observed even when exposure to the target is limited to levels associated with perceptual encoding of the target (experiment 1). Semantic priming of constructs compatible with perceptual features of the target increases liking of the target (experiments 2 and 3), and increased liking of the target is mediated by the target's increased visual appeal (experiment 3). [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]